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Considering a 2002. Questions about engine rebuild and more.

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Guest Anonymous

Hello Everyone,

I currently drive a two seater and need a more practical car and I'm seriously considering purchasing a 2002. Anyhow There is a 2002 from a company here in So Cal called 2002AD that I really really like! It's engine was rebuilt in 1985 and has 125k miles since the rebuild. The owner has all the paper work since she rebuilt the engine. Has anyone here ever heard of 2002AD? Good? Bad?

My questions are:

1. Can you rebuild an engine a second time?

2. 2002AD charges $3,500 to rebuild an engine. Is that a fair cost?

Should I expect a warranty for a rebuilt engine?

3. Many parts were replaced last year. Master cylinder, front brakes, thermostat, radiator hose, etc etc etc...

4. The guy at 2002 said that with all the previous work done that with an engine rebuild I would really only need to do regular maintance on the car. Is that realistic?

5. I need a VERY reliable daily driver. I can't afford a money pit. Is it wise to consider a 2002? Would I have the very reliable daily driver of my dreams with the scenario I just outlined (all the replaced parts and rebuilt engine)?

Thank you SO much for your time!

Sincerely,

Josh Gordon

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If you REALLY need a freeway car, buy a Honda. 125k and 20 years, hmmm might be time for another rebuild.

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If your primary goal is a reliable daily driver I would personally go for another car. You need to realise that stuff like electrical switches, wiring, relays not to mention joints, bushings and bearings in the entire chassis will have been subjected to wear and aging over the years. If you just need a second car that is a bit funny at the same time, then we're talking, or even better, if you are into it for a more or less complete rebuild then it would be an excellent car. Easy to work with. Decent quality and most parts still available.

A good choise for a reliable daily driver without spending a fortune and still beeing able to enjoy the BMW feeling could be an E30 model. A well maintained and good looking E30 could serve you quite good.

My personal view is that the plain ownership of a 2002 today almost places an obligation upon the owner to restore it or build something good out of it.

The world is full of worn down 02:s and there is no need for another one. Then it would be better to pass it on to someone more willing to put some money and effort into the car as it well deserves.

Just my thoughts!

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here's your answer:

" 5. I need a VERY reliable daily driver. I can't afford a money pit. Is it wise to consider a 2002?"

you need to shop else where

SURE the 2002 is reliable - for the mechanic, hobbiest, restorer, daily, yes - but not PRIMARY CAR.

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I bought a 800pound/1500dollar runner. I've been driving that as a primary daily driver for 9months now (my other car is less practical). I've done 16,000miles in that time. Using it to drive cross country to pick bits up that I've bought off ebay. Apart from a bit of an incident in the snow (which I'm still repairing) it hasn't broken down once! No trouble whatsoever. However I am above average when it comes to maintanaince skills.

It is ever so well put together, equals Japanese quality. But they are 30years old now so bits will be deteriorating. Mine is more a project car that is my hobby. If your cars aren't your hobbies than buy 90's (yawn) Jap cars.

125,000. Still young. But if '02 style valve guide were fitted then that would need urgent attention. My engine is 132,000 miles young and runs without problem (apart from the valve guide/seals).

Engines can be rebuilt as many times as you like! The worst case is that you run out of rebore oversizes or crank regrind undersizes. But that'll be about 20 rebuilds down the line.

3500dollars is over the top for a rebuild. That money would have to be a drive in/turn key drive out operation. An engine rebuild should be about 800dollars labour the rest parts and the BMW engine has such high quality components (knocks spots off even the Japs) that precious little NEEDS to be changed. Rockers, rocker shafts, pistons and crank shells is all the major stuff you'll need, about 1600dollars (sorry converting from UK money to US). Warrenty? Yes, at least a month/1,500miles. You get what you pay for in life.

Cheers,

Glen.

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FWIW

2002 AD is horribly overpriced---just look at the cars on their site to verify this. $3500 is way too much for a rebuild...just way way too much. I don't doubt the quality of their work or the cars they sell, but one may as well just slash 40 percent off of their prices to be more accurate. That being said, I think a 2002 can make a great daily driver, but you must be more involved with the car than on a more modern car. As others have pointed out, all kinds of little things can need replacing due to age. But if you know basic mechanics then you really have no more to worry about than with a modern car. In fact, I'd venture to say it's cheaper to own and operate an'02 than it is a modern car, especially if you can do most of the maintenance yourself.

--Ben

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I drive my 02 everyday! It's not a money pit. However I have spent a crapload of money on it, in fact a heroin habit might be cheaper. Most of the $ I have spent has been on upgrades to suit my personal tastes. The amount of money spent keeping it running has been minimal. It is a 30+ year old car, it is going to require more maintence than a newer car. My wife drives a Camry that recieves the bare minimum of attention. If the 02 was treated with that level of ambivilance it would surely be broken on the side of the road somewhere. The 02 is a simple/basic machine when compared to newer cars, a little mechanical inclination can take you pretty far on 02. If you take your time and find the right car ie: no rust buckets or neglected basket case cars, it can be a fine reliable daily driver.

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Ditto That, I was very lucky, Bought mine about six years ago, daily driver ever since, (even when it was running on three cylinders) spent some bucks on it , but well worth it. 76malaga02, however I am now very spoiled in my new 325i, daily driver.

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Guest Anonymous

ground comment, here goes:

1. NO reason why an engine can't be rebuilt multiple times, unless the cylinders have been bored to maximum oversize or the block has been "decked" to the minimum spec. Even then, rebuilding on a replacement block doesn't cost much more than using the original.

2. Based on the experience of having an engine done 3 years ago (didn't have time or space to do my own this time), $3500 is probably pretty realistic for a quality job with new cam, valve train and pistons (especially if it's a drive in - drive out job). Could definately be done cheaper if you pull & install the engine, rebuild it yourself, or major components are reused. Quality shops will generally warrantee a full rebuild - time and mileage will vary with the shop doing the work.

3. Major parts replacements - things wear out on ANY vehicle. The older the vehicle is (and the longer it's been since major service work), the more prepared you have to be to do some repair/replacement. That said, 2002's are both relatively basic and stout, so a car that's had good maintanence and care shouldn't need anywhere nearly as much work as something more "finicky" (like maybe a Lotus Elan or XKE)

4. IF the work was done right, the engine should be good for at least another 100K without major work, so 2002AD's assessment is not necessarily unrealistic

5. Whether an '02 will meet your needs as a "very reliable" daily driver will depend heavily on whether you're prepared (and able) to do some occasional maintanence and repair work and the car's overall condition - if it's solid to start with and you can keep it up, no reason why not. I bought a 132K mile early '69 in Oct 2000 that had been in storage since the mid '80's - after doing some basic work (belts, hoses, brakes, etc) & a 5 speed swap, it was driven daily for 2.5 years & over 60,000 miles (on the original engine) including trips to Colorado and southern CA without a single breakdown. Following an engine rebuild, it was in daily use for another 15k before being retired to "fun car" duty.

I'd guess that Mike Self may have a contribution to make to this post string - he's been driving one of his pair of '02's more or less daily since buying it new in 1969........

One other comment as to the "reasonableness" of shop charges - bear in mind that any commercial venture has to meet two basic critera to stay in business. First, they've got to meet their monthly "nut" (rent, utilities, insurance, salaries, etc), then they've got to turn at least some profit to make it worth the trouble to keep operating. The end result is that it's pretty difficult for any business to do top quality work AND charge bargain basement rates, especially in an expensive area like southern CA. When you're dealing with a business, look at the quality of their "product", then try to look at their situation objectively - it may be easier to get a feel for whether they're charging reasonable rates once you take their location, facilies, etc, into account.

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A few hours of downtime dealing with your 30 year old car issues: electrical problems due to rusty grounds, replacement brakes, replacing a battery or whatever minor issue might cause you problems WILL NOT

I repeat WILL NOT

wipe the smile off your face from driving one of the finest motorcars ever produced. To know great joy you must suffer a little ..

which is worse? Better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all?

you could drive a honda but life is short and the joys too few .. the 2002 can make that daily drive worth making sure those grounds are good, the starter is fresh, the engine running smooth.

damn the torpedoes --

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